Worried about drinking and driving? These fantastic farm-to-table restaurants with accommodation are the perfect solution.
If you are like that good friend of mine who basically only ‘eats steak when he is personally knows the cow it’s made from’, the farm-to-table concept will be close to your heart. Though the term leaves some room for interpretation, farm-to-table basically means sourcing food directly from the place where it’s produced, and ideally this place should also be close to the place where the food will be served.
South Africa’s Western Cape region is certainly blessed with an abundance of local produce, from organic or natural grown fruits and vegetables to locally made cheese, and cattle breeding. The proximity to the coast further adds to the variety of local fresh food. Thus, farm-to-table dining options across South Africa’s Cape Winelands are plenty.
Moreover, there are many restaurants that not just source their food from nearby farms. Many grow their own produce or belong to a local farm breeding their own livestock.
If you are new to the Cape Winelands, the great news is, you will have a long list of places offering excellent farm-to-dining experiences. Including, of course, a huge offering of local wines.
And if you are worried about drinking and driving, then have a look at my list of some of the best farm-to-table restaurants with accommodation.
The Werf, Boschendal Wine Farm
The stunning Boschendal wine farm is hands down one of my favourite places when it comes to visiting the Cape Winelands.
Just a short drive from Cape Town, Boschendal is located in the beautiful Drakenstein Valley between Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. Founded in 1685 as one of the first wine and working farms in the area, organic and sustainable farming of its land and vineyards is part of the DNA here. Today the farm grows fruits and vegetables on 9 hectares, has a nearly 1,000 strong herd of Aberdeen Angus beef, a free roaming herd of pigs, and a small flock of sheep.
Werf Restaurant, located in Boschendal’s original wine cellar, is fully committed to sustainability and farm-to-table or better soil-to-fork dining experiences, as they put it here themselves.
The menu at the Werf Restaurant is focusing on seasonal local produce that comes either directly from the farm or from small producers and farms nearby. Add to that the farm’s own award-winning wines, and you know you are in for a treat.
To make the experience even better, you can stay at one of the beautiful cottage rooms at various locations throughout the large farm. Meaning, you do not have to worry finding a designated driver after plenty of wine pairing with your menu.
If you want to know more about Boschendal farm and its accommodation, check out my post Boschendal Wine Farm: Great wines and luxury accommodation in the Cape Winelands.
Located in the beautiful Paarl Valley, this awesome working farm has made a comeback only a few years ago, yet it has made quite some headlines since it re-entered the scene. Babylonstoren is the epitome of organic, sustainable farming, with 3.5 hectares boasting more than 350 edible plants – fruits, vegetables, and herbs. The garden is naturally irrigated from a stream and connecting waterways, like it was already done over 300 years ago.
The farm’s historic buildings with beautiful, thatched roofs and ornate gables were carefully restored and today offer guest accommodation, two restaurants, a SPA, a lovely little farm shop and a tasting room for the farm’s own wines. In addition, there are also lots of beautiful flowers around the premises.
A former cow shed today hosts the gorgeous small Babel Restaurant and what’s on the menu is sourced nearly entirely from the farm itself. A definite eye-catcher are the colour-coded fresh salads, while my favourite remains the sourdough bread, freshly baked each morning at the farms’ bakery. Also on the menu will be the best cuts of Babylonstoren’s own Chianina beef, hand-selected by the farms’ resident butcher and the catch of the day from the not-too-distant coast.
Just a few steps away from the restaurant, hid behind lush green bushes are the farm’s cottages, and the Manor House offering top-notch accommodation.
For more information on the farm, check out my post Babylonstoren, a true Western Cape Winelands gem.
Bosjes Kombuis: Bosjes Farm, Breedekloof
Bosjes Farm, which translates into ‘small bushes’ is located at the foot of the Waaihoek Mountains in the Breedekloof area of beautiful Breede River Valley, just about an hour and a half from Cape Town. The estate is family-led and farms its own grapes, olives, peaches, and beautiful proteas.
Bosjes Kombuis (which is Afrikaans for ‘kitchen’) is a stylish restaurant offering a light and modern seasonal menu based on locally produced food and in addition, you can also have a wine tasting of the farms’ own wines. The menu is clearly produce-driven and changes frequently to reflect what produce is currently available.
In addition to excellent farm-to-table dining, Bosjes Kombuis is an architectonic gem. The beautiful ‘Bosjes Tree of Life’ is a true masterpiece of art. It consists of 366 tiles that were hand-painted and reflect the flora and fauna of the farm.
Just a few steps away from the restaurant, the historic manor house offers several beautiful suites.
For more information on the farm, check out my post Bosjes Farm Review: A wonderful Winelands hideaway in the Breede River Valley
Orangerie Restaurant: Le Lude Wine Estate, Franschhoek
Dubbed the culinary capital of the Winelands, there is no shortage of exquisite restaurants in Franschhoek, the little Huguenot town located around 45 minutes from Cape Town. Including the surrounding wine farms, which when also offering a restaurant (the majority) will without exception boast farm-to-table based menus.
Thus, if you would ask me where to start, I’d definitely recommend Orangerie Restaurant. Located just off Franschhoek main road at Le Lude Wine Estate, ingredients here are sourced locally from the surrounding farms, forests, mountains, and the nearby coastline, and the menu changing according to the seasons obviously. That said, dishes are decidedly French inspired.
Resembling a glass house, with large atrium windows and a fresh modern design, Orangerie offers a relaxed, laid-back atmosphere and beautiful views over the surrounding vineyards.
While Orangerie’s wine list is also impressive, Le Lude Winery itself only produces sparkling wines and over recent years has been one of the rising stars of local MCC (Methode Cap Classic) sparkling wines.
With the centre of Franschhoek just around the corner, there is a large choice of nearby accommodation. Though you do not even have to go that far. Lily Pond House, a private little cottage with two spacious en-suite double rooms and its own private pool is located at the food-end of the estate.
Check out my post Le Lude Winery: A delightful new trendsetter of South African sparkling wines for more about the estate.
The Tasting Room: Creation Wines, Hemel en Aarde
Hemel en Aarde, located round about one hour and 30 minutes from Cape Town close to the amazing Walker Bay in the Overberg is one of the still lesser-known Cape Winelands areas. However, with the waves the region is making lately thanks to the excellent wines coming from here, it’s likely not much longer a destination only for those in the known.
The same is true for Creation Wines, one of the leading wineries in the area. With a number of excellent, award-winning wines to their name the winery is certainly one of the better known of the Hemel en Aarde area.
The restaurant at Creation is called the Tasting Room for a reason. Though it’s definitely more restaurant than a typical ‘tasting room’, the menu is created around wine pairing of the estate’s excellent wines.
Food at the Tasting Room is sourced from local farmers and the nearby coast, and many of the menu options are plant-based though you will also find fish from the nearby sea and meat options from nearby farms.
After your visit to the Tasting Room, check into Voormanshuis, a beautiful little cottage nestled among the Creation Wine vineyards offering stunning view over the Hemel en Aarde Valley.
Have a look at my post The wine region less travelled: A day in Hemel en Aarde Valley for more information on the area and Creation Wines.
Have you been to the Cape Winelands yet and enjoyed the regions delicious farm-to-table dining options? Let me know where you’ve been and how you liked it.